Last Night’s Lesson

Confidence is never loud, but it does speak in different volumes.
It comes in different shapes, colors and size,
and it wears different clothing.
It is never frightened to answer questions.

It never feels challenged and it never needs to debate
or argue.

Confidence does not need to be convinced or sell itself.
It does not sway in victory or loss.
It is consistent.
Confidence is the ability to listen.

It is comfortable when not speaking
and able to grasp new ideas
without feeling threatened about its old ones.

Confidence never has to prove itself.
It never complains or says, “My way is better!”

It is patience. It is tolerance.
It is everything but the loud voice in the room…
That’s not confidence.
Confidence does not brag or lead by self-promotion.
(That’s arrogance…or often, it’s insecurity.)

Confidence says I am not better or worse; it says I am me.
It says I’m capable.
I can return. I can respond.
I can get up after falling down.

Confidence says just because you tell me I cannot,
it does not mean I have to listen.
It means not being afraid to try, to fail
or even succeed.

In the detailed course of life, confidence remains.
It does not give in to doubt or uncertainty
and it is not free from these things;
however, it responds because of them.

Confidence is a bright smile
or a tear in a time of sadness.
It is the ability to say, “I love you,” and be sufficient
without selling itself
or pointing out its own generosity~

Last night, I went to a fourth and fifth grade talent show in the auditorium of the local middle school. I saw these brilliant young children dance and sing. And even from far away in the back row, I saw their smiles, and on occasion, I watched the theater lights glimmer on the wiry steel braces that sparkled on the teeth of different children.

A young special needs boy sang Frosty the Snowman with the voice of Jackie Vernon (He played Frosty in the original cartoon) shouting, “Happy Birthday!” This was followed by the voice of Jimmy Durante singing, “Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul!” The kids in their seats cheered for this boy—and him—his smile was the brightest of them all.

These kids danced in the face of fear. They sang regardless to question. They played piano and violin. They painted pictures, but above all, they had fun. Along with a lesson to me, they created a wonderful memory for themselves as well as their parents.

I see this not only as an example of confidence, but as a result of it.
As a parent, I want to nurture that.
And as a man, I want to embrace it.

There is a saying, “Live out loud.”
I say live regardless. Live, love, laugh and dance regardless to who sees you.

The applause will not always be there. In fact, sometimes the theater of life will be painfully silent. So much so that even a whisper could slice like a scream and the booing will be more abrasive on the heart than on the ears…..

But that does not give anyone the right to stop your performance.

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